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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
we want YOU to think...if you dare...


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Red Herring INspection Fee: Tempest in a Teapot or Manufactured Distraction?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly  'fired back'  snappily  at  President Obama's  latest plan to charge Canadian visitors by air or sea  a $5.50 "inspection fee".

Who thought up that tempest in a teapot?  We must wonder how long it took Mr. Harper and Mr. Obama to cobble that brilliant idea together after lunch in an effort  to manufacture a distraction from the huge corporate "security merger"  recently announced that will, in the long run, give away sovereignty of perhaps 400 million people,   but benefit only corporations, their  activity and profitability. 

We  might be  too busy rolling on the floor laughing like lunatics  to understand the indignation and  "significance" of an "inspection fee" -- "Your privates  are hereby inspected, Madame, pay the $5.50" ,  or equally,  we could  be hungry as we await that fine bag of  inter-flight peanuts.    Maybe we're just day-dreaming about warmer climes  in the annual  fit of Canadian cabin-fever as we shiver in February,  huddled in  igloos and quaint log cabins, waiting for the sun to shine kindly upon us. Perhaps we are waiting for  directions to Nirvana.
Do we really believe Prime Minister Harper is indignant about this "fee",  as he quaintly suggests there are better ways for the "extremely somewhat"  distraught US economy  to raise money?  Make no mistake about it, the  US economy needs help and guidance too, after spending all of it's sauce,  energy and goodies on  endless warfare.  The US economy  offers it's sweating taxpayers an annual deficit of  a TRILLION dollars or more.

But does anyone, Canadian or American  alike,  really think that --$5.50 per visit,   although admittedly  being totally annoying and somewhat idiotic, is really going  to help with the ballooning  US deficit?  There are about 16,000,000 Canadians flying into the US annually, and at $5.50 per,  that translates to a  "inspection fee" of about $88,000,000 dollars.  Not exactly chump change, and yes, we must admit, annoying, but why bother with trivial details?  The paltry sum of $ 88 million is not much after all,  since we wasted more than 1 Billion dollars on fake lakes, snacks  and security for the G20 leader's summit held in Toronto.   Perhaps we must show solidarity with US citizens.... after all, we're Canadian. We're nice.
Lovely--so  let us all agreeably get on the bandwagon and share the Prime Minister's rousing objections for a moment while we're at it,  show how much we love our Prime Minister, national unity and all that, and not complain too loudly.  
Perhaps we should even be mature and creative and contemplative instead of overly critical. 
    We could  gently  put Michael Ignatieff's Liberals in charge of the State of Canada instead, since  that election  choice  would avoid the necessity of fabricating further stories, or doing anything other than being "politically correct" when our largest neighbour wants to arbitrarily tax members of the traveling public every time they want to cross the border.  That includes penalizing  little old grandmothers wanting to go south to see their grandchildren and who must fly, because they cannot drive. It includes the children themselves.  $5.50 per.
     As an aside, for Iggy,  here's a sure opportunity to overthrow the minority Conservative government,  how about arguing  the Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms which insists that all Canadians be treated equally in the handling of this issue?   Iggy could use that argument to advantage and win feel-good  points with Barack  at the same time,  tax all travelers,  get greater income for the bankrupt US treasury,  and  achieve "fee equality" for Canadians all. Regardless, it all ends up in Corporate piggy-banks anyway.
   How about that?  There's a win-win.   Of course we know that the Bloc Quebequois would find some devious way to blackmail away their share of the plunder to hire more language police and further the separation of Quebec. No matter. " We are the Borg, resistance is futile, you shall be assimilated"  comes to mind.
Let us return to the subject at hand and be candid;  in the meantime, Big Corporate Trucks hauling Big Corporate Profits and unknown goods   will still  travel across the "border", for "security" purposes virtually without inspection, and  special  security-card holders will have  special lines to zip through unhindered and uninspected  with great speed.  Hundreds of thousands of shipping containers will continue to arrive unexpected and without inspection  annually,   and thousands of aliens from Mexico and shiploads of refugees from  other countries will continue to enter both countries  illegally, but to be politically correct, we don't want to pay any attention to those trifling  details,  we'll distract ourselves and seek happiness by applying Obama's  "$5.50 security  inspection fee instead.
Will  that be $5.50  USD or Canuckbucks, President Obama?
We also plead guilty,  we forgot to point out  it is ludicrous to charge only people entering by "air or sea"  while conveniently ignoring where the REAL dollars are...the average poor Joe taxpayer and single moms  that drive across the border on 15-year-old wheels  every day in hoards to shop incessantly for shoddy Chinese goods so they can pay duty on them at the border of  Free Trading countries which are merging economically.   Why not screw them some more  in the process too, boys?  Venerable leaders,  are you not missing a goldmine of potential income by overlooking poor people on wheels?

Either way, the REAL point is,  drive, sail or fly,   we  must admire how clever, manufactured and  smelly  red herrings are dropped in front of the unsuspecting North American public to distract them from the real issues of the day, like that  previous announcement of a merged security agreement between Canada and the U.S. and the resulting  "new border"  which voluntarily and arbitrarily  gives away sovereignty of  both Canadians and Americans without so much as a vote, referendum, or  chat over a double-double with frosted doughnut  at Timmy's. 
Who said  Canadians want to share a security arrangement? Who said Americans wish to agree to such an arrangement?  Don't ask, because  we don't know when  the dialogue was held. We don't know where the dialogue was held.  We don't know IF a dialogue was held.  
The fact is, most sadly, Corporate North America has  decided such agreements should take place in  confidential meetings, undoubtedly with all the perks  at taxpayer expense,,, and therefore as the official talking heads,  President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, with the help of minions all,   must quickly  make it so.
Isn't that the way democracy works?  All Egyptians know " we support democracy" , after all.  We don't really practice it, but we support it.

Readers of Incoming BYTES  are encouraged to think for themselves.  A few  good questions to start with might be " why would we need "security inspections and fees" at all  if the new,  unified, merged border  that gives away our sovereignty is so effective and "necessary" ? -- and of course.... "Is the flying public already not taxed enough for the existing security arrangements at airports that include invasive body searches, X-rays  of the  physical privates of free, innocent persons, and endless lineups for the privilege of being body searched, X-rayed, and endlessly lined up? 

Good questions, but no matter, we're distracted by the red herrings, and suffering from cabin fever  WE do hope, however, that someone has answers, especially with a Federal Election coming up.


  1. why does this sound like more repression? where have the friendlies gone? under the fear blanket?
    what world are we creating? the more they protect us-the more insecure we may become..
    please protect me from my 'protectors'

  2. Well said, Nadine. "What world are we creating?" IS the right question.


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